Linda Caicedo’s twinkling toes have already scared the hell out of Germany and the Women’s World Cup breakaway star now has England in her sights.
The Colombian sensation, simply 18, wowed audiences worldwide in the course of the match – however she’s already conquered a lot simply to enter the soccer subject.
Three years in the past, Caicedo battled ovarian most cancers amid the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic and her prospects of even taking part in the sport once more, not to mention successful a World Cup, had been unsure.
Fortunately, Caicedo, who was solely 15 when identified, recovered from her sickness and resumed a profession that has now taken a stratospheric trajectory.
Her objectives towards South Korea and Germany lit up the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, serving to Colombia attain the knockout stage for the second time.
Colombian striker Linda Caicedo has been a breakout star on the 2023 Women’s World Cup
The 18-year-old striker scored in Colombia’s group matches towards South Korea and Germany
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They defeated Jamaica of their final 16 match on Tuesday to arrange a quarter-final conflict with reigning European champions England.
Sarina Wiegman and her Lionesses, considered one of many World Cup favourites, will probably be all too conscious that Real Madrid striker Caicedo can harm them if they aren’t cautious.
You solely have to look at the way in which she displayed silky easy footwork to deceive two German defenders earlier than curling the ball into the highest nook to attain.
That objective helped Colombia on their option to a shock 2-1 victory and only a few days later, Germany, quantity 2 on the planet rankings and at all times considered one of many favourite groups, flew house.
Colombia misplaced their final group recreation 1-0 to Morocco, however nonetheless completed prime of Group H and nobody will actually really feel like taking up them.
Caicedo grew to become the youngest participant to attain greater than as soon as in a girls’s World Cup since Brazil’s Marta (who was 17 on the time) and Canada’s Kara Lang (16) did so in 2003.
Now Caicedo is being dubbed the ‘Colombian Neymar’ in reference to a different Brazilian nice. Comparisons with Neymar or Marta are certainly excessive reward.
Linda Lizeth Caicedo Alegria was born in a small farming village referred to as Candelaria, 27 km from Cali, one of many largest cities in Colombia.
In 2020, on the age of 15, Caicedo was identified with ovarian most cancers in the course of the Covid pandemic
Caicedo feared she wouldn’t be capable to play once more, however recovered inside a couple of months
The striker was named Player of the Match after Colombia beat Germany 2-1 in Sydney
When she was solely 5 years outdated, she walked onto the soccer subject of Club Real Juanchito, holding her mom Herlinda’s hand and commenced a rare journey.
IT ALL GOES OFF!
No doubt her mom was searching for an outlet for the younger lady who “kicked everything around the house,” together with utensils and even her dolls.
Although the native soccer academy was boys-only, membership president Rafael Murillo was so enamored with Caicedo’s abilities that he mentored her and located her a girls’s crew, Generaciones Palmiranas.
Remarkably, Caicedo was on Colombian nationwide coach Nelson Abadia’s radar at simply 12 years outdated, she was that good.
At the age of 14, she had made her skilled debut for America de Cali and scored what turned out to be the game-winning objective. She would end because the league’s prime scorer that season.
She transferred to metropolis rivals Deportivo Cali in February 2020, however at that time Caicedo’s profession took a dramatic flip.
The teen developed stomach ache and was initially handled for gastritis. But the ache didn’t go away and medical doctors would finally diagnose ovarian most cancers.
Caicedo underwent surgical procedure two weeks later to take away the tumor, which included the elimination of certainly one of her ovaries.
She understandably struggled with the physician’s directions to not play soccer, however as Covid tightened its grip around the globe, there was nonetheless no soccer to play.
Abadia assured Caicedo that the most cancers was not the tip of her soccer goals.
“I had surgery one day and I felt really bad, like I couldn’t play football at the highest level anymore,” she recollects.
“But he said ‘calm down, you’ll be back’.”
After six months of chemotherapy, Caicedo did simply that, returning to coaching simply days after being declared cancer-free in September 2020.
World Cup star Caicedo excitedly greets schoolchildren throughout a coaching session in Bogota
Her soccer journey began on these fields in Villagorgona in Valle del Cauca in Colombia
Rafael Murillo was the founding father of Juanchito Real Football Club and an early mentor to Caicedo
Her mother and father Mauro and Helinda Alegria with a poster of their daughter at their house
A group of memorabilia from Caicedo’s early profession in her mother and father’ house
“I feel like it helps you grow for better or for worse. It was a bad experience, but then it turned into something positive,” Caicedo stated.
She was efficiently reintegrated into the Deportivo Cali squad and by 2022, Caicedo remarkably performed in 4 completely different tournaments for Colombia’s groups: the South American Under-17 Championship, the Women’s Under-20 World Cup, the Under-17 World Cup and the Copa America . girls.
In the latter, Caicedo was named the match’s finest participant, regardless of Colombia’s slender 1–0 defeat to Brazil within the ultimate.
Her performances landed her a dream transfer to Spanish big Real Madrid simply earlier than her 18th birthday in February 2023.
There had been renewed considerations about Caicedo’s well being when she collapsed clutching her chest throughout pre-match World Cup coaching in Germany.
The Caicedo household’s home is already turning right into a gleam of their daughter’s soccer achievements
Footage confirmed the 18-year-old grabbing her chest earlier than falling to the ground throughout coaching
Caicedo was unconscious and rushed to hospital earlier than being launched on Friday
Further considerations about Caicedo’s well being emerged when she fell to the turf towards Germany
Colombian World Cup star Linda Caicedo, 18, clutches her chest and collapses throughout coaching in Sydney earlier than being taken to hospital by ambulance after dropping consciousness.
—Antonio Sabato Jr. (@AntonioSabatoJr) July 29, 2023
Colombia sensation Linda Caicedo, 18, collapses on the sphere for the second time in simply three days in the course of the Women’s World Cup
Physiotherapists rushed onto the pitch after the 18-year-old hit the deck as involved teammates watched in the course of the Women’s World Cup match. pic.twitter.com/X5z1q4qgO9
— Andrea Klein (@Hamburg_klein) August 4, 2023
Medical workers stated Caicedo was “very tired” and “what happened was just a symptom of all the stress and physical demands” – and that she was in a position to get well to face Germany.
But medics rushed onto the pitch when she collapsed once more within the recreation towards Germany to boost additional considerations.
Caicedo was already a family identify and poster lady in her house nation of Colombia, however Caicedo’s performances on the World Cup have now made her well-known everywhere in the world.
England has been warned.